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South Jersey wedding photographer Jay Cassario blog. Writer for SLR Lounge and Shotkit.com. 

Hurricane Sandy - The Color Killer

Jay Cassario


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Hurricane Sandy came roaring up the coast and right into Jersey this past Monday, taking out a good portion of the Jersey shore, engulfing pretty much the entire state before passing through and right up into NY. Somehow though, it managed to go right around my small town of Atco for the most part, only slightly bending a few trees at my house and flickering the lights a few times. Luckily we had no loss of power, no flooding or water damage, and nothing blown away. The one thing it did do though, was give a devastating blow to the awesome Fall colors that just started to really scream these past couple weeks. The leaves had just started to really peak in color, reminding us of why this is our favorite time of year. The 80 mph winds that came along with Hurricane Sandy did a good job of breaking their already weak hold and blowing them right off their branches, leaving a lot of the trees in the area close to bare and starting to resemble their ugly winter grey nakedness.

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Fall was without a doubt my mother's favorite time of year. She would often call my sister and I to remind us to take a moment to stop and look around at the beautiful colors of the leaves. I was often guilty of being so busy with work, the gym, and whatever else it was that I didn't have time to stop in and see her down at the farm during the week, or even some weekends I'll admit. She would always ask me to stop by just to sit and talk with her in the patio to enjoy the fresh cool air. Or take a walk around the back yard looking at all the beautiful trees that line the 6 acres of farmland that is wrapped with the Wharton State Forest, which looks jaw dropping this time of year. As I got older and busier those times with her became less and less, obviously regretting it now as I look back. 

Thinking about that, it dawned on me that she may have had a little something to do with this. Not so much the devastation, but the affect it had on the beautiful Fall leaves and colors that she had loved so much. I have been so busy with Comcast and Cass Imaging that I haven't gotten that chance to stop and appreciate this awesome time of year. Could this have been her way of letting me know that I should have taken her advice all those times? Na...no way. Once I thought about it a little more, that couldn't be true. There's no way she would have had anything to do with this. If she had any say in it, the leaves would stay their beautiful and bright colors all the way into December or January.

With Hurricane Sandy taking lives, destroying houses, and killing electricity to thousands of homes, the damage that was done to the fall foliage isn't quite on the same level when it comes to real damage, but it’s still sad to see. This is a favorite time of year for many, with the weather getting cool after a long hot summer, and the beautiful colors of the leaves that always seem to disappear just as fast as they came. The few months of cool air and pretty colors always seem to fly by, and now after Hurricane Sandy whipping through, the brief stint of awesome colors that God uses to remind us all of his beauty, has been cut short. I haven't been out near Batsto yet to see how bad it was hit, but Im really hoping that it wasn't hit bad at all, and that the winds were some how not as strong as every where else in Jersey...wishful thinking. 

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With the amount of requests we had coming in for family portraits this Fall, I came up with the idea of seeing who might be interested in booking a 30 minute time slot at Batsto Village on a day when I knew the leaves would be changing. So, I picked a date and put it out on Facebook. Within a week I had 9 families booked for 30 minute time slots, and an engagement session to close the day out on top of it. Batsto has easily become one of mine and Sandi’s favorite spots for shooting portraits, so we were really looking forward to it…until Hurricane Sandy whipped through taking most of the leaves I had been looking forward to seeing with her. I still think there will be enough colorful leaves left on the trees to make for a good day, so if all goes well I definitely plan on making this an annual event. Once I get everything edited and up on the Cass Imaging site I will post a few of the shots on here for everyone to see. 

Until then, I urge you to take some time out from your busy schedule to stop and take in a deep breath of this fresh cool air and enjoy the beautiful fall colors that are still left on the trees. 

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